2.11 - The Mauritius Penny

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Rate 'The Mauritius Penny'

10
1
9%
9
3
27%
8
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9%
7
3
27%
6
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No votes
5
2
18%
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1
9%
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Total votes: 11

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darren
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2.11 - The Mauritius Penny

Post by darren »

Written by Terrance Dicks and Malcolm Hulke
Directed by Jonathan Alwyn
Production completed: 1 November 1962

Starring Patrick Macnee and Honor Blackman
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Post by Frankymole »

My review:

http://www.theavengers.tv/forever/gale1-7vr.htm

"The New Rule owes nothing to what has gone before." What's to not like about this episode? Well, mistimed fights (they look under-rehearsed). A few plot flaws. Things to enjoy:
•Richard Vernon in his typical dotty aristocrat role.
•A well-staged shooting in a crowded auction room, coinciding the gunshot with the auctioneer's hammer; Steed reads about it in the newspaper and pulls a face at its purple prose: "'Murder made the final bid', ugh!"
•Steed's magnificent turn as a bespectacled stamp-collecting nitwit who runs rings around the nefarious Goodchild.
•The sheer shock of realising how far advanced the Neo-nazi's plans are.
•Steed fussing over his precious wine collection during a police search, "Oh please, do be careful... the sunlight." He then details the pros and cons of each of his delicate vintages, prompting the police inspector (when he reaches the bookshelves) to remark acidly, "I suppose you haven't the Dead Sea Scrolls among this lot, have you?" Glorious!

The Avenged?: Western European capitals, hopefully.

Diabolical Masterminds?: Rather too many guest villains. The urbane Shelley with his Eton tie and carnation could have been a nice "anti-Steed," and is especially nasty threatening dentistry-torture. The dentist herself, "Major Gray" (clearly Russian? It's pointed out that they're all naturalised Britons.. but why?). Lord Matterly. Goodchild. The fake policemen. A host of extras. Steed and Mrs Gale are truly on their own!

The Avengers?: Cathy makes a racket when "stealthily" hammering a crate closed with her shoe! Steed has a very bad day, getting walloped over the head with a policeman's truncheon, and is later gassed by an evil dentist. Steed's cleaning lady Hoovers around his unconscious form. Steed passes off the burglary as a wild party!

Umbrella, Charm and a Bowler Hat?: Steed has a tasteless line about the kind of artwork his newsagent sells, but Cathy's used to his facetiousness by now.

Bizarre?: A few plot non-sequiturs (Steed has been tapping the stamp shop's phone, but it's not clear why; the delivery man suddenly shows up in the dentist's with the huge crate he is taking to the auction rooms). A flawed ending (we have to infer that Cathy and Steed have caught up with Lord Matterly and forced him at gunpoint to cancel the plan, but it is not shown how the Europe-wide day of revolution has been thwarted. There is a large cast of extras as attendees at the rally; can Steed and Cathy arrest them all?). The episode is set in the future... according to Brown's ticket to the rally, it ends on December 18, 1962; the episode was shown the preceding month.

On Target? (Score): An average episode. Two bowlers out of four, 5/10.
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Post by cyberrich »

9/10. This is my highest rated episode from season 2. Great script. Sadly no episode from this season gets full marks from me, but several come close. These were early days though, and the next season are where things really get going. Rich.
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Post by Lhbizness »

Another favorite, although in looking at it from a distanced perspective, I admit that there are plot holes a-plenty. But so many excellent moments, many of them Steed's: his stamp-collector act, the fight in his apartment, and the entire sequence at the dentist's. The scenes Steed and Cathy have together are great fun, if a little sparse on the whole, and some lines ("Oh, Freckles, I'll never understand your sex") are great. It's also a tacit acknowledgment of Britain's very real problem with far right-wing groups, setting up our heroes to battle against neo-Nazis.
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Post by Rhonda »

5 from me as a pretty typical gritty episode from the era with a few good moments.
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Post by darren »

I'd only seen this once before when I got it on video and it left little impression despite me being interested in the work of it's writers Terrance Dicks and Malcolm Hulke.

There's a lot of wit. In terms of humour it's probably amongst the funnier episodes of season two which was rather dry mostly.

It's quite thinly sketched in terms of what is at stake and I'm not really sure I followed the plot that well.

There's an interesting moment when Steed arrives in the crate to the rally. The scene changes and yet the camera angle unfortunately points directly at the crate in the extreme background and we see the production assistants helping someone out of the box (might not have been Macnee inside).

7/10 - not really a standout but good fun. I love the scenes with Steed's housekeeper.
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Re: 2.11 - The Mauritius Penny

Post by Frankymole »

The brothers cover The Mauritius Penny:

Last watched: "Esprit de Corps"
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